This is an old Scottish lullaby that goes back to at least 1825. The word "baloo" is the Scottish word for lullaby or hush-a-bye.

Baloo, Baloo, My Wee Thing - Scottish Children's Songs - Scotland - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

Here's a longer version of this lullaby from "The Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern" (1825) edited by Allan Cunningham:

THE CRADLE SONG
By Richard Gall (1776–1801)

Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
O saftly close thy blinkin' e'e!
Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
For thou art doubly dear to me.
Thy daddie now is far awa,
A sailor laddie o'er the sea;
But hope ay hechts his safe return
To you my bonnie lamb an' me.

Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
O saftly close thy blinkin' e'e!
Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
For thou art doubly dear to me.
Thy face is simple, sweet an' mild,
Like ony summer e'ening fa';
Thy sparkling e'e is bonnie black;
Thy neck is like the mountain snaw.

Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
O saftly close thy blinkin' e'e!
Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
For thou art doubly dear to me.
O but thy daddie's absence lang
Would break my dowie heart in twa,
Wert thou na left a dautit pledge,
To steal the eerie hours awa!

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Comments

"The Scotch have a simple but very characteristic little ditty, 'He-ba-laliloo,' which is not very difficult to trace to the French 'Hé bas! 'là le loup,' [Hey there is the wolf!] which in turn brings our thoughts to bear upon a universal nursery story favorite, namely, 'Little Red Hiding Hood.'" - Current Opinion, Vol. 14 (1893)

Listen

Deirdre sent this recording with the note, "When I was in primary school in Scotland in the 1960s I sang this at a music festival in Perth. Still remember the words." Here's the version Deirdre sang...

Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
O saftly close thy blinkin' e'e!
Baloo, baloo, my wee wee thing,
For thou art doubly dear to me.
Thy daddie now is far awa,
A sailor laddie o'er the sea;
But hope ay hechts his safe return
To ye my bonnie lamb an' me.

Download

Many thanks to Deirdre McIntosh for singing this lullaby for us!

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Baloo, Baloo, My Wee Thing

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This Scottish lullaby can be found in print in the short form above as early as 1888 in "Current Literature", Volume 1. The longer form was printed in 1825.

Illustration: Walter Satterlee